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Nancy Pelosi famously downplayed the coronavirus threat in San Francisco's Chinatown. She lied about it when she was confronted over the weekend.


'We think it's very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come'

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Weeks after President Donald Trump enacted travel restrictions on China, Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her San Francisco constituents to visit Chinatown in the Bay City, citing fears that coronavirus was resulting in racism toward Asian Americans.

Pelosi said at the time, on Feb. 24:

It's exciting to be here, especially at this time, to be able to be unified with our community. We want to be vigilant about what is out there in other places. We want to be careful about how we deal with it, but we do want to say to people, "Come to Chinatown, here we are — we're, again, careful, safe — and come join us."

Despite the virus already spreading throughout the U.S. for more than a month, Pelosi declared it "very safe" to congregate in dense areas, actions that now may result in arrest.

"We think it's very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come," she said at the time.

On Sunday, Pelosi lied about her comments when confronted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. The grilling came as Democrats continue to hammer the president, accusing him of not acting quickly enough to combat COVID-19. Pelosi, in fact, has blamed Trump for American COVID-19 deaths.

"If the president underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn't you as well?" Wallace asked.

"No," Pelosi claimed. "What we're trying to do is to end the discrimination, the stigma, that was going out against the Asian American community. In fact, if you will look the record will show that our Chinatown has been a model of containing and — and preventing the virus."

"But — but — forgive me," Wallace interjected. "Don't you think — don't you think that you — you — when you're about walking without any mask ... saying that there's no threat, it's perfectly safe there ... Weren't you also adding to this perception that there wasn't such a threat generally?"

"No. I was saying that you should not discriminate against Chinese Americans as some in our administration were doing," Pelosi claimed. "And so, what we're saying, look to them for answers, don't look to them to place blame."

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